Today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of jQuery. I announced it back at BarCamp NYC 2006 when I was still in college. It’s incredible to think of how far it’s come and just how many people have contributed to its success. To them I am forever grateful, thank you.
Last year I wrote up an annotated version of the original jQuery release in which I dumped many of my thoughts regarding the work and influences that went into that very first release.
It’s fascinating to see what place jQuery continues to hold in the world of web development. When I originally created the library I wanted to scratch two personal itches: 1) To provide a simple interface for interacting with the DOM and 2) Reduce the number of cross-browser issues that exist during development. Thankfully we now live in a world which is much rosier than back in 2005, when I was writing jQuery. Most users are on evergreen browsers and most have access to the recent standards-specified technology. It pleases me that there is apparently still a place for simple API design in the world, as jQuery’s continued success attests. jQuery is more popular than ever, surprisingly enough! 77.8% of the top million web site on the web use it, which is astounding.
When I stepped down from the project in 2011, to focus on my transition to working at Khan Academy, a fantastic team stepped up to ensure that the project would continue to run smoothly. Reading Sebastian McKenzie’s recent blog post about the struggles he’s faced in running the popular Babel project struck close to home for me. It made me glad that I had put time and effort into building a team of amazing people who were happy to take over the project once I stepped down. jQuery would not be in the place it is today without them.
I’m thankful that jQuery gave me the opportunity to meet so many new people and work on the things that I’m most passionate about. However I’m most happy that it’s empowered so many people to build things on the web, I’m so glad to have been a part of it all. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be another 10 years from now!